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When innovation becomes a company value, change happens

In business today, the ability to achieve full value from IT hinges on a very important relationship: the one that’s shared between a company’s technology management team and their CEO.

Consider the experience of Lithuanian-based KG Constructions Group. Working closely with Atea, they have turned their glass and aluminum building-facade company into a creative powerhouse that’s ambitiously transforming cityscapes in Scandinavian and Baltic countries today.

Success starts with their in-house collaborative work. It’s built on the premise that innovation isn’t just a promise: it’s an integral part of what the company stands for. 

“We’re not a traditional construction company,” explains the firm’s IT specialist Rokas Poškevičius. “We don’t use the word innovation lightly. It’s the backbone of our company now: setting the standard for how we generate and execute our ideas, and how we communicate them to the world.”

KG Constructions Group has changed a lot since Poškevičius first joined in 2016. He recalls how when he arrived as the company’s first IT specialist, he was greeted by a workplace populated with outdated Linux servers, overfilled mailboxes, sticky notes on doors to book meeting rooms, and entire projects managed solely by Excel spreadsheets.

However, while the challenges were readily apparent, there also was a management team that believed deeply in the power of IT. They gave Poškevičius their full trust, including delegated decision-making authority to make meaningful changes.

Faster decision making: the crucial first step

Working with Atea, Poškevičius’s first move was to improve the company’s productivity software, transitioning them to Microsoft Office 365. Managing user logins became easier and email inboxes became useable again. Microsoft’s Exchange Online services, including shared calendars, meant that staff could focus on their work rather than on constantly managing and supervising their software. “What this really did was help us make decisions faster,” he explains, “and that was the crucial first step to making change happen.”

Next, Skype for Business was deployed. It delivered cost-effective communications and convenience in one powerful package, so that KG Constructions Group could communicate better and faster with clients and developers. As a result, business travel dropped, since fewer trips to Scandinavian locations were required. That’s significant for a company that typically has up to twenty projects running simultaneously in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Lithuania. Since video conferencing is common in their region, clients adapted quickly to this change, and everyone appreciated having this powerful new tool at their fingertips. Internally it was just as transformative as daily meetings with staff were moved to Skype instead of relying on hard-to-schedule boardrooms.

Maximizing returns while meeting employee needs

Nearly every feature in Office 365’s powerful array of tools has been adopted by KG Constructions Group. Not only has this helped ensure maximum return on their investment, it also has helped meet the growing needs of employees.

This includes deploying Sharepoint for publishing content and sharing reports. Basic administrative processes, such as work travel or vacation requests, are now done automatically. It also includes making full use of Microsoft Project Online, which was welcomed warmly by the firm’s project managers and finance officials. Tool integration is key. And with Office 365, that means having full control over every stage of every project as well as gaining the ability to conduct capital and human-resource assessments.

At KG Constructions Group, innovation isn’t just limited to administration: the firm’s design team also relies on it heavily to do their best work. They need quick access to drafts and sketches, but the files are large and take up a lot of storage space. That’s one more reason why Poškevičius implemented cloud-based services with OneDrive for Business. Now, teams can communicate with each other effortlessly to discuss project planing and development. Adding a finish touch to marketing and communications with clients, the firm also uses Microsoft Sway to create and share captivating newsletters.

 A full lock-down on security

Innovation as a company value means more than just working smarter internally. It means security gets top billing, along with tools to keep KG Constructions Group safe online. As Poškevičius points out, the firm—like others of its size—was once a target of cyber attackers and malware writers: a malevolent activity that represents a serious threat to thriving businesses. And like others, the KG Group learned an expensive but necessary lesson just once when they had to contend with a successful hacking attempt. Implementing Office 365 helped put a stop to that activity.

 “This platform offers a lot of opportunities to adjust security parameters,” says Poškevičius. “That’s helpful in so many ways, including being able to avoid phishing attacks.” This is where Atea has played an especially vital role. “The experts at Atea helped us set up the right security parameters and combine them into rock-solid solution.” That included implementing multi-factor authentication to boost security and protect staff access to Office 365.

Currently, plans are underway to relocate the majority of the firm’s resources to the cloud. That’s the final step in a long journey that entails adopting data analysis and presentation tools via Microsoft’s Power BI. With this insightful tool, staff can create business management reports and other systems reports. Next, the data in those reports can be visually represented on Sharepoint. Since the company as also adopted the Lean System in its workflow, the work in every group and department—from design and production to marketing and IT—is tracked and measured carefully. That gets inputted into Power BI for deeper insights.

Innovation at KG Constructions Group has played a lead role in making change happen. Administration is smoother, marketing is more purposeful, project design, development and execution is more focused, and security is tighter. All of this happens because the company made a deliberate choice to build their future with IT.

 

Adapted from original post on Atea.lt

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